Prepare for the Coming of Our Lord and Savior

Advent Candles
The Righteous Branch and the Covenant with David 
14 The days are surely coming, says the LORD, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. 15 In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David; and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. 16 In those days Judah will be saved, and Jerusalem will live in safety. And this is the name by which it will be called: “The LORD Is our Righteousness.”Jer 33:14-16  NRSV

Advent is an observance in many churches that marks the four weeks prior to Christmas. It is, in fact, one of the oldest annual observances in Christian worship. It’s liturgical origins date back at least as far as the fifth century.
In churches that celebrate Advent, a common symbol is a special wreath or candles symbolizing the coming of Christmas. Every Sunday an additional candle is lit, one for each of the four Sundays of the season, culminating with the glorious celebration of the Birth on Christmas!
It is a time of prayerful waiting, longing, anticipating, and preparing for something special that is yet to come. The season is not (only) about celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, singing traditional Christmas carols, or exchanging gifts. Even the name “advent” calls to mind this idea. It comes from the Latin word for “to come to.” It literally is a season to bring us to Christmas.
The season of Advent looks toward two particular realities in the Christian faith.
First, it prepares for the annual celebration of the most significant birth to ever take place in human history. Much like a family preparing to welcome a newborn into the household, Advent preparations seek to prepare our hearts to receive Christ anew in our lives.
The second faithful anticipation highlighted in Advent is the promised second coming of Jesus in full glory. Much of the seasonal worship looks beyond this present age to the glorious time of Christ’s full and eternal reign on earth.
By Rev. David Wilson Rogers – November 27, 2013